- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 25, 2000

Former Energy Department counterspy Notra Trulock charged yesterday that an FBI leak investigation of him is a politically motivated effort to retaliate for his criticism of FBI failures over Chinese nuclear spying.
Mr. Trulock asked the House and Senate intelligence oversight committees in letters sent yesterday to investigate the circumstances surrounding the FBI's July 6 seizure of a computer containing his personal information, without a warrant, as part of an investigation into disclosures of classified information.
The FBI action is part of an effort "to intimidate me and was in retaliation for my whistleblowing," he stated.
"The FBI came into my home after threatening and intimidating the homeowner for nearly three hours and seized a personal computer containing not only a draft of the offending manuscript but also all my personal files, banking records, tax records, and personal information," Mr. Trulock said in letters to Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Richard C. Shelby, Alabama Republican, and House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Porter J. Goss, Florida Republican.
"The FBI did so without a search warrant, having coerced consent from the homeowner with threats of breaking in doors and bringing in 'media people' with them," he stated.
FBI spokesman John Collingwood said the computer was taken after the FBI received information from other government agencies that it might contain improperly stored classified information.
He defended the seizure as proper procedure, but he said he had not seen Mr. Trulock's letters to the committees.
Mr. Collingwood said that "if any individual has a concern about the conduct of any FBI employee, that individual should bring that concern to the attention of the FBI's watchdog, the Office of Professional Responsibility."
The FBI action followed publication of an article by Mr. Trulock in National Review and a letter Mr. Trulock had sent to FBI Director Louis J. Freeh on March 3.
The letter said Neil Gallagher, FBI National Security Division director, gave false testimony to the Senate during its investigation of Chinese spying at Los Alamos National Laboratory.
Mr. Gallagher had testified that the Energy Department began investigating Wen Ho Lee, a key suspect in the transfer for W-88 warhead technology to China, in October 1995.
Mr. Trulock, however, told Mr. Freeh that the Energy Department counterspies did not begin looking into Mr. Lee until the spring of 1996 and that the false testimony was intended to deflect criticism of the FBI's mishandling of the case.
"In short, it is evident in retrospect that the FBI did not take seriously the fact of Chinese nuclear espionage," Mr. Trulock said in the letters sent yesterday.
"After I wrote FBI Director Freeh highlight[ing] these issues, the FBI embarked on a campaign to destroy my professional reputation. The seizure of my personal computer on trumped-up allegation of mishandling classified information is the latest outrage," he said.
Mr. Trulock said he believes an FBI official working for the CIA suspected that classified information was contained in an unpublished manuscript Mr. Trulock wrote early this year and notified the FBI of a possible violation of secrecy rules.
Mr. Trulock, Energy Department counterintelligence chief from 1994 to 1998, said normal procedures involving review of classified information in past manuscripts involved an exchange between the agency reviewing the material and the author.
In his case, Mr. Trulock said, the CIA, instead of talking to him, notified the FBI to begin a leak probe.
The passages the FBI did not like "criticize the FBI for its handling of the investigation and the [Department of Energy's] cover-ups, politicization of intelligence, and failure to implement needed security and counterintelligence reforms," Mr. Trulock said.
Mr. Trulock said he has heard the FBI is seeking to "indict me" and is pressuring the Energy Department and CIA to come up with classified data in the manuscript.
In a related development, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, California Republican, has written to Mr. Freeh asking him to investigate the FBI's case against Mr. Trulock.
"I am concerned that this may be a situation where Mr. Trulock is being harassed for having been a whistle-blower at the Department of Energy and for writing a magazine article critical of the Clinton administration's security policies," Mr. Rohrabacher said in the Thursday letter.
"The perceived political motivation behind prominent Justice Department activities has generated a breach of trust with many lawmakers and the American public," he said.

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